Daniela Allee

Couch Fellow for Innovation

Daniela is NHPR's Couch Fellow for Innovation. 

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More than 120 people attended a forum on education funding in Newport on Tuesday night.

This is the second forum on education funding this year that Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky and attorney John Tobin have put on. Both were lawyers in the original cases that sued the state for adequate funding.

During their presentation, which drew attendees from nearly two dozen towns, they broke down differences in property taxes across the state and the percentages towns pay for education versus the state.

UNH

A new UNH study looked at how well college personnel understand sexual assault and rape reporting regulations.

Researchers called Title IX offices, which oversee gender equality issues, and campus police at more than one hundred and fifty colleges around the country.

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The New Hampshire state Board of Education has adopted new computer science academic standards.

David Benedetto is the STEM and Computer science administrator at the New Hampshire Department of Education. 

These new standards will focus more on technical skills, like coding and data analysis.

"[It's] sort of bringing in these things to modernize our technology education, and hopefully relate that to other areas of study as well,” Benedetto said.

Schools across the state would have a few years to make plans to incorporate the new standards.

The State Board of Education has released a statement regarding recent Facebook comments made by a Department of Education employee.

Last week, Anthony Schinella, the department's communications director, made posts criticizing a gathering of state business leaders focused on diversity in the workforce. 

He wrote that increased diversity could bring more crime and create a "cesspool." 

The Board said it's "deeply disappointed" by the comments and that "our public schools are and ought to be welcoming to everyone." 

Photo by Aerrin99, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Southern New Hampshire University is launching a competitive E-sports program this fall. It'll be the first of its kind in the state.

E-sports are a team-based, competitive form of video gaming.

There's been a club team at SNHU for a few years.

But, now that the sport is officially backed by the university, players will have more resources available—a dedicated computer lab where they can practice, scholarships, and even housing for gamers. 

Tim Fowler is the director of e-sports. 

Via Youtube (Link to video in the story)

About 30 people gathered at the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth on Thursday to learn more an invasive species known as jumping, or snake, worms. 

Many of the gardeners wanted to know: how do we get rid of them?

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The Dunbarton school district had an extra million dollars in the budget, and that means some extra money for taxpayers.

A judge ruled last week the school district couldn't hold an emergency meeting about the excess funds. With that ruling, the excess funds will now go toward reducing the tax rate, but only for one year.

That means someone with a home assessed at $300,000 would see a decrease of about $1,000 in their taxes.

Clem Madden is the vice chairman of the school board.

"The accumulation of these funds took everyone by surprise," he said.

After a vote to break the tax cap, and then a reversal of that decision, the Franklin City Council Wednesday night finalized a school budget for the next year. But it still falls short of what the school board requested.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

Educators will meet at Plymouth State University this week to take part in a summit on rural schools.

The Rural Educational Leaders Network brings teachers and administrators together to collaborate on issues they face, such as funding, varied class offerings, and population decline.

David Backler is the superintendent of SAU 20 in Gorham. He says this summit is also a chance to bring ideas and practices back to his schools.

"You want to be able to position yourself in a way you can showcase all the things you can provide."

The Rochester City Council rejected a community petition on Tuesday to relocate a private drug recovery center.

The council said it doesn't have the legal authority to force a relocation unless the center is breaking the law or violating a zoning ordinance.

Sixty-five people have signed the petition. In it, community members say they’ve have seen an increase in drug activity in their neighborhood around the SOS Recovery Community Organization.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

As Granite Staters watch this year's World Cup tournament, many from abroad are following their home teams closely. NHPR's Daniela Allee went to a Colombian bakery in Nashua Tuesday to talk with Colombians as their team took on England.

Vanessa Guerra said she woke up on Tuesday at 5 a.m. already thinking about the match.

She usually watches Colombia's World Cup games at home with her mom. When she's not there, she heads to Latin Bakery and Multiservice on Lowell Street.  

A federal judge blocked work requirements in the state of Kentucky's Medicaid program last Friday.

New Hampshire has similar requirements as part of its renewed Medicaid expansion.

Franklin's nearly 30-year old tax cap won't be in place next year. The city council overrode the mayor’s veto to break the tax cap with a 6 to 3 vote Thursday night.

After years of budget shortfalls and layoffs, Franklin’s school district has some breathing room, at least for one year. That's how long this proposed tax cap break would last.

The school district would get $708,623, and could rehire most of the 14 staff members laid off this year.

Asea / Flikr Creative Commons

Governor Sununu signed a bill on Wednesday that would extend the subsidy for the Burgess BioPower biomass plant in Berlin by three years.

Under a 2011 agreement, Eversource pays Burgess at above-market prices. That's capped at 100 million dollars, but that could be reached sooner than anticipated.

So, with this new bill, the subsidy will continue for three years after hitting the cap. 

Those who opposed this bill argued that those above-market prices would be passed on to customers.

File photo

Deb Bourbeau owns a home in Hampton Beach, and each morning, she checks how high the tides will be. Flooding's been an issue for her and her neighbors.

It's one reason she turned out for the New Hampshire Coastal Climate Summit on Wednesday.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Last March, a group of high school seniors in North Conway planned a school walkout after the Parkland shooting.  More than 300 students showed up. But now those seniors have graduated, and summer’s right around the corner.  

The question of how to keep the momentum going was at the forefront of these senior’s minds towards the end of the school year.

Their first step was to put on two voter registration drives in May. Their second was to pass on the leadership to underclassmen.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

For the past six weeks, the Poor People’s Campaign has gathered in front of the Statehouse, calling attention to issues like racism, immigration and the environment. 

But the next steps don't involve proposing specific policy changes. 

“So we should impact the values of our country, and if we can impact the values of our state then we can see a change that’s reflected in public policy,” said Rev. Eric Jackosn, one of the campaign co-chairs.

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This Saturday, the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire will put on its annual Juneteenth Celebration.

Juneteenth marks the day when slaves in Texas heard they were free, almost two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

For JerriAnne Boggis, the executive director of the Black Heritage Trail, the holiday is time for both festivities and reflection.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

It was standing room only in the lecture hall in Pittsfield Middle School. More than 100 people from Berlin, Franklin, Keene and elsewhere listened as Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky described the history of how the state has funded public education. The main topic was tension over how much money the state sends to local districts.

When he got to the list of lawsuits against the state on the issue, that's when hands started popping up.  

Todd Bookman / NHPR

School leaders and community members will meet in Pittsfield tonight to learn more about how the state funds education. NHPR’s Daniela Allee has more on why this conversation is happening.


Portsmouth turns 400 years old in 2023 and planning for that birthday is already under way.

Portsmouth residents will have a chance tonight to share their ideas at a public forum on how they want to celebrate the city's four centuries.

Susan Labrie is the director of Portsmouth400, which is the group planning the celebration. She says the anniversary is more than just a day for a parade.

"It's going to be creating the programs and events that go beyond 2023,” she said.  

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On Friday, police chiefs from across Strafford County will get the chance to check out the county's newly purchased drone.

If departments are interested, they can sign up to partner with the sheriff's department to use the drone in certain instances, such as a search and rescue mission.

Skip Christenbury is the chief technology officer for the Strafford County sheriff's department. They'll offer training for officers interested in piloting the drone.

"There seems to be a lot of people rearing to get a crack at it,” Christenbury said. 

A new study from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy finds that the number of children removed from parents has increased by 50 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Cases that included a substance use allegation doubled in that time period, from 30 percent to 60 percent.

Kristin Smith is the family demographer at the Carsey School. That removal from parental care can be stressful for children, and those whose parents use substances face challenges. 

Daniela Allee / NHPR

About 60 people gathered in front of the US Attorney's Office in Concord today to protest the Trump administration's order to separate children from families at the border. 

Demonstrators held signs that read "Stop Separating Families," and "Las Familias Deben Estar Juntas."

Daniela Allee / NHPR

About 80 people gathered outside the New Hampshire State House for a third rally of the Poor People's Campaign. Speakers focused on what they call "the war economy" and gun violence. 

After marching around the capitol building, speakers and protestors went in to the Hall of Flags, where they held a "teach-in."

Topics discussed included veterans' mental health, nuclear weapons and imperialism.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

A group of students at Kennett High School held the school's second voter registration drive on Friday. Getting young people registered to vote is how this group, known as Eagles for Action, is keeping the political momentum going from the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. 

Molly Robert is a senior at the high school, and on Friday morning she read the names of students and teachers who died at the school shooting last week in Santa Fe, Texas. 

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Expect to hear big brass bands, a 19-gun salute and cannons at the New Hampshire State Pier on Saturday. That's when thousands will gather to watch the new USS Manchester officially get its title.

The 3,000 ton Navy vessel is part of a new line of combat ships. They are lighter, faster and can fight closer to the shoreline.

The ship also has a smaller crew. There are about 70 people total who man the ship, compared to about 300 crew members on a destroyer. 

Local women's health providers are responding to the Trump administration's proposal to cut funding from clinics that offer abortions or refer women to places that do.

These clinics would lose Title X funds, which provide family planning and preventive care to uninsured or low income people. By law, these funds cannot be used for abortions.

Of the 18,000 people who are eligible for Title X services in New Hampshire, about 60 percent go to Planned Parenthood to get those services.  

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Getting rid of old medications is one approach to fighting the opioid crisis.

Now, Walmart pharmacies across New Hampshire will offer a new way for people to dispose of unused or expired medicine.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Fifty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. started the Poor People's Campaign to fight systemic racism and poverty. More than 100 people gathered outside the State House Monday as part of a nationwide re-launch of Dr. King’s Poor People's Campaign.

Those issues hit close to home for Asma Elhuni. She said she's experienced economic hard times, and she's also concerned about an increase in acts of hatred toward Muslims.

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